If your child has a chronic medical condition, you should take them to see a GP as soon as they become unwell.
If your child is otherwise healthy, you should take them to a GP or hospital emergency department urgently if they become more unwell, show any signs of dehydration or are having difficulty breathing.
Influenza Statistics in Australia
As of 1st October 2019, there have been a total of 292,991 laboratory confirmed cases of Influenza in Australia in 2019. This number is over 10 times higher than the same time in 2018. Victoria alone has had 62,286 cases of influenza in 2019.
For healthy children under the age of 5 years, of all vaccine preventable diseases, influenza is the leading cause of hospitalisation.
Adults have a 10-30% chance of contracting influenza each flu season. For children the likelihood of contracting influenza is between 20-50%, and up to 70% when there is a pandemic.
Influenza Vaccine Recommendations
The Australian Immunisation Guidelines recommend the influenza vaccination for all people ≥6 months of age who wish to protect themselves against influenza.
People who are at a higher risk of complications from influenza are strongly recommended to receive the vaccine. This includes conditions such as:
- Heart conditions e.g. cyanotic congenital heart disease
- Chronic respiratory conditions
- suppurative lung disease
- cystic fibrosis
- Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes
- Chronic renal failure/ kidney problems
- Impaired immunity of any cause, including medical conditions requiring ongoing treatment with oral steroids
- Down syndrome
- Chronic neurological conditions
- multiple sclerosis
- spinal cord injuries
- seizure disorders
- Children on long-term aspirin therapy
- Preterm infants (born at <37 weeks gestation)